Claudio Ranieri appointed Fulham manager to replace Slavisa Jokanovic
Fulham have sacked Slavisa Jokanovic as manager and replaced him with former Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri, the club announced on Wednesday.
Ranieri, 67, led Leicester City to their improbable 2015-16 Premier League title triumph. The Italian, whose most recent job at French club Nantes ended in May, moves to Craven Cottage with the club bottom of the Premier League following their return to the top flight in the summer.
"It is an honour to accept Mr. Khan's invitation and opportunity to lead Fulham, a fantastic club with tradition and history," Ranieri told the club's oficial website.
"The objective at Fulham should never be to merely survive in the Premier League. We must at all times be a difficult opponent and should expect to succeed. This Fulham squad has exceptional talent that is contrary to its position in the table. I know this team is very capable of better performances, which we will work on straight away as we prepare for Southampton at the Cottage."
Ranieri is set for a quick reunion with Leicester, as they are due to play at Craven Cottage on Dec. 5. Before then, Ranieri's first game in charge will be against fellow strugglers Southampton before making the short trip to Chelsea, another of his former clubs.
The former Juventus, Roma, Valencia and Monaco manager was named The Best FIFA Men's Coach in 2016 for guiding Leicester to his and their first ever league title. He was back in the U.K. in recent weeks to pay his respects to former Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died in a helicopter crash outside the club's King Power stadium on Oct. 27.
Jokanovic, who was Ranieri's first signing as a player at Chelsea in 2000, led Fulham into the Premier League via the playoffs last season but the London club have made a poor start and are bottom of the league following just one win in 12 games.
Fulham chairman Shahid Khan added: "I wasn't anticipating having to make this announcement related to Slavisa and wish the circumstances were such that I didn't have to, but our path this season has led me to make what I know is the correct decision, at the right time, for our players, the club and our supporters.
"Slavisa will always have my appreciation and respect for everything he did to return Fulham to top-flight football. I am hoping everyone in the Fulham Family shares my heartfelt sentiments for Slavisa and joins me in wishing him success and good fortune, wherever his next stop may be."